Making the invisible visible, moving towards a culture of water conservation – Awdhesh

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As a way to show the importance of groundwater, World Water Day is commemorated today.

Santiago de Chile.- On World Water Day, the ecotoxicologist and expert in water resources, Dr. Ignacio Rodríguez, stated that “as a society, we have failed to understand the importance of nature in conserving water, providing clean water in quality and quantity” and He emphasized that “we still have a long way to go as a country to produce accurate information on the availability of water that we have.”

Every March 22, World Water Day is commemorated, with the aim of raising awareness about the global water crisis. This year, the motto is “making the invisible visible” as a way to show the importance of groundwater.

For the executive director of the Río Cruces Wetlands Center of the UACh (CEHUM), Dr. Ignacio Rodríguez, “this day should serve us to analyze the bad times we are experiencing, not only because of climate change, but also because of the destruction systematically over the years that human beings have made of nature. As a society we have not managed to understand the importance of nature to conserve clean water in quantity and quality and it is a change that we must generate”.

The director of the CEHUM indicated that progress has been made in some matters, there is still a long way to go. “We need more data to understand the changes that are taking place due to the effects of climate change on rainfall, but there is still a lot of ignorance about what happens to groundwater, which is what World Water Day invites us to this time” , he indicated.

More data, better decisions

On the other hand, the expert in water resources, said that World Water Day is also a favorable date to emphasize the importance of managing information on water. “Today we are facing a serious water shortage due to misuse of water and lack of rainfall. There is a lot of uncertainty about the precision of how much water we have and that accentuates the problem for us. We need data that is more adjusted to the territories, more reliable and more accessible for better decision-making,” Rodríguez said.

Just as an example, we have the rainfall data to date in the Los Rios region. Between January 1 and March 15, a station located in Pichoy, dependent on the Chilean Meteorological Directorate and which considers Valdivia’s data to be official -despite being located in the commune of Mariquina, 30 km from the regional capital – realizes that it has rained 131 mm. However, stations installed by the CEHUM indicate that in urban sectors of Valdivia such as Cabo Blanco, 243mm have fallen, and in Torobayo, 287mm. Likewise, the CEHUM stations in the commune of Máfil register 185.42 and 202.94 in the Puringue sector, in the commune of Mariquina. The network of stations installed by the CEHUM not only account for the variability in precipitation, but also free access data reported in real time.

In this way, the CEHUM has implemented the first network of 12 meteorological stations in various districts of the Los Ríos region, with free access through the Internet. “This network of low-cost stations with free access in real time is proof that data related to water must be for public use and knowledge of all of us who inhabit this territory, seeking to contribute to accurate knowledge of the water cycle in the Los Ríos region. The responsibility that we have assumed to deliver data with greater precision to understand the variability that exists between places that may be very close to the region but are different”.

Finally, Ignacio Rodríguez emphasized that it is urgent to generate a culture of water conservation to understand the role of nature and its restoration, better ways to use water, as well as the importance of instrumentation and quality public data.

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